Nairobi County ODM aspirants ditch Kidero for Kisia

NAIROBI; KENYA: Wrangles in the CORD coalition in Nairobi County took a new twist on Friday after a section of ODM parliamentary candidates said they will now campaign for former town clerk Philip Kisia.

More than 10 aspirants vying for various parliamentary seats in the city on an ODM ticket on Friday held a road show in Roysambu, Ruaraka and Kasarani Constituency on the Northern parts of the city campaigning for Kisia instead of their party candidate Evans Kidero.

Kisia said that the aspirants, who included Ruaraka’s Tom Kajwang’, Embakasi East’s Omondi Ogutu, and Brian Weke of Embakasi West had approached him and sought his support towards winning the seats. Others were ODM candidates from Embakasi Central, Langata, Starehe, Embakasi North and the ODM women representative candidate Susan Ming’ala.

Although Kisia who is running for Nairobi governor is in Federal Party of Kenya, a Cord affiliate, the candidates who are apparently ditching Evans Kidero as a protest following sustained pressure to have some of them step down.

Cord leaders led by presidential candidate Raila Oding and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka have held night meetings in the last few days seeking to negotiate for partner parties to have only one candidate in the ballot.

Last week, a meeting hosted at the official residence of the Vice President failed to implore upon the candidates under the Cord coalition to support one candidate per constituency. The CORD coalition has ODM, Wiper Party and Ford Kenya as its affiliates.

Cord now risks losing majority of seats in Nairobi as its supporters will divide votes.

Sources indicate that Kalonzo’s Wiper wants ODM to drop its candidates in Starehe, Embakasi South, Embakisi West, Embakasi Central and Embakasi East.

The acrimony among the candidates may benefit rival TNA under the Jubilee Coalition; which appears to have taken a commanding lead in Dagoretti South, Roysambu and Kasarani while CORD is almost sure of winning the Langata, Kibra and Embakasi South constituencies.

The road show to show up support for Kisia candidature and Prime Minister Raila was held after a secret meeting held in Valley Arcade on Thursday night at the offices of Kibra ODM parliamentary aspirant Kenneth Oyoo.

The ODM aspirants, excluding Makadara candidate George Aladwa who is a staunch ally of Kidero, resolved to throw their weight behind Kisia.

Kidero, who is the leading gubernatorial candidate going by recent opinion poll may also suffer if the dejected candidates mobile their voters to support Kisia; as this will divide Cord support to the benefit of TNA’s Ferdinand Waititu.

Embakasi West aspirant Brian Weke accused Kidero of working with their opponents within Cord, claiming that this will derail their chances of clinching seats in the city.

However, Kidero who joined the road show entourage before they started off at Chomazone along the Thika Super Highway dismissed the assertions, saying all candidates under the Cord coalition were equals.

“Cord is a coalition of many parties and during my campaigns, I invite ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya aspirants to seek for votes for their various seats, so it’s unfortunate to allege that am favouring non-ODM candidates.

“My support comes from the people and all of us should engage the electorate as we seek votes for our various seats and collectively campaign for our presidential candidate Raila Odinga,” Kidero said.

The aspirants also complained of lack of material and logistical support from the Cord presidential secretariat.

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